Written by: Leslie Ahmadi
Date: January 25, 2016

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo:  Scott Abraham/Flickr

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo: Scott Abraham/Flickr

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As both a member of the African American community and twenty-seven years the wife of a good and kind gentleman born in Iran, I can’t help but link four recent events, each of which holds special meaning for me.

  • The first event? The commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 87th birthday.
  • The second event? Iran’s release of American sailors who had accidentally drifted into Iranian waters.
  • The third event? A coalition of countries lifting the sanctions from Iran’s strained economy to honor its side of the nuclear arms agreement.
  • The fourth event? Both Iran and the U.S. freeing each other’s people from prison.

What does the first event have to do with the other three? While the nuclear arms deal and the notion of improved ties with Iran remain a subject of controversy, I cannot help but remember Dr. King’s words with faith and hope as I witness what I see as the promising fruits of patience and diplomacy.

For those readers still plagued by fear and suspicion of either side, let me leave you with images of thankful, relieved everyday people I know from Iran (below).

Happy New Year to all of us.

Group of friends from Iran

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